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thejosh

Under gravel filter media?

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Hi all.

Just wanted to see what everyone uses as a media for undergravel filters. if you dont use one but have a suggestion, go for it.

I use aquarium filter sponge that i bought from my local foam and rubber store. I can wash it and re-use it.

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i think you will find that most members of the forum do not use UGF as they are not really that effective. I my self have used one and removed it after 2 weeks ias i found it was not effect . Never heard of a media as such being used in them though.

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Hi all.

Just wanted to see what everyone uses as a media for undergravel filters. if you dont use one but have a suggestion, go for it.

I use aquarium filter sponge that i bought from my local foam and rubber store. I can wash it and re-use it.

The only Media used with U/G filtration is Gravel.

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Yep, I agree with bluewatch. My understanding of the U/G filter is that (like a sponge filter) the air movement causes water to be pulled along to replace that which is displaced by the air. The gravel itself acts as the filter medium, with all the bajillions of bacteria growing all around the gravel and water being drawn through the gravel and "filtered" before coming out the top of the return pipe.

If you put sponge material or any other type of media under the gravel or filter plates, I think you may find it very difficult and messy to maintain.

Cheers,

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gravel is all you need not too fine a gravel otherwise it becomes compacted

as far as effectiveness id rate a well established undergravel above just about all other biological filters

theres a couple of secrets one leave em alone long enough to get established

gravel vac just enough to keep you happy

dont let the plates become exposed so no good for fish that dig

other than that theyre fantastic and highly undrerated

peter

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X 2 with smiley but to add. Periodically put some airline or similar down the uplift and this will now be sitting under the plate. Syphon off and you'll clear the debris from under the plate getting the flow back to original.

The industry was built on U/G's and I've only just emptied a tank that was set up with a U/G for 14yrs and never vac'd the gravel...........and the clown loach in there are that age and I've never lost a fish in that tank.

kev

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WOW! are you serious. So i should have gravel in the tank? (i know what your thinking, WHAT A TOOL) but ive been told and shown that i need to put in filter media. So i dont vacuum/syphon the gravel when doing water changes? and once i set it up i dont touch it.... EVER? would love to hear from you all and dead fish floating if your out there.

So confused. Josh.

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I actually think that covering the entire base of an aquarium with a matt of course foam and then running air uplift tubes off it.... well its dam close to genius.

Kind of like a matten filter.... ( http://www.peelaquariumclub.org/hifin/2009v12.pdf ) but airpowered and well from the base up.

Hmmmm..... that may make little sense when read back by someone else.

I remember a day when hang on the back, water fall style filters WERE AIR POWERED, as in fed by uplift tubes :)

in a general UGF filter the gravel or sand itself becomes the filter media

so the better the surface area, the better the bacteria population.

But they are prone to mulm buildup under the plate which can lead to old tank syndrome.

If you could use coarse foam instead..... well if you could make it easy to remove, squeeze out and replace......

well mate you would have an awesome internal filter, thats aesthetically pleasing.

As far as UGF filter media.... I always wanted to try seachem matrix.

i mean surely it would kick ass

high tech, meet low tech

:)

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Yes, in theory, bloody amazing bacteria volume, but how do you clean it when it's saturated. I remember a time when there was a craze on putting carbon under the plate............whoever thought that up, and whoever followed them blindly, was a tool. They even made a carbon mat, specifically for going under the plate.............two weeks later................strip down tank!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????????

kev

kev

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I have always found chlorine an excellent way to destroy biological matter, I am sure it would nuke matrix back to 'bare earth' well enough. Certainly seems to work well with ceramic rings.

Of course you would only do a portion at a time AND it would need to be dechlorinated before being returned to the tank.

Still matrix is biological and carbon is chemical.... so different in that way.

I know people who still use scoria rock in UGF

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Good topic this and your right under gravel filters are under rated...another way to power an UG is to set up a reverse flow power head on the up lift tube (only use 1 of the tubes)this forces water in and under the plate and back through the gravel

Be careful not to have too many rocks etc as these will create dead spots

Many years ago the norm was to place filter wool over the plate and then the gravel on top...interesting thought about the Matrix

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Yeah, I got a couple setups using plates that's designed to run by a power head (the hole for the water to run through is larger). I made up plates of approx 1500mmx500mm, used in a 6x2x2.

I place larger bits of coral bones (10-20mm??) on top of the plates then cover the whole thing up with 2-3mm crushed coral.

As they are tanks for Africans, they works out fine for me.

Never have any issue as the powerheads pushes over 2000L/hr through the plates. But do have to regularly vac up the area without the bottom plates.

Should of pull my finger and made a larger plate to cover the whole tank.

Did hear about using matrix at the time and so wanted to try it out but didn't want to spend $250 just to cover the bottom of one tank. Plus I already had the two different crushed corals on hand. Since they are relatively porous, they seems like doing a good job. So far, so good over 2years now.

Regards,

Ken

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* I have the intake of a canister filter down the uplift tube of an undergravel. Partly to increase the biological filtration but mostly to provide mechanical filtration before the canister. Since there isn't any dirt getting into the canister, I haven't had to clean the canister since I have set it up (for the last 3 years).

That right there is one heck of a guru tip.

Looking forward to testing it.

I mean in that case..... well using a larger coral gravel..... hmmmm..... that could just work for what I have planned next.

i must admit to using air powered sponge filters as they are easier to clean.

But I have a huge box of old UGF. The last ones I used I cut up and zip tied to egg crate to make a divider.........

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* I have the intake of a canister filter down the uplift tube of an undergravel. Partly to increase the biological filtration but mostly to provide mechanical filtration before the canister. Since there isn't any dirt getting into the canister, I haven't had to clean the canister since I have set it up (for the last 3 years).

This sounds like an awesome idea.

Imagine you'd have to be very thorough with debris vacuuming over the plate?

Better to spread out the flow over a larger area in a big tank you think, or have just a smaller plate to pre-filter the canister intake?

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This sounds like an awesome idea.

Imagine you'd have to be very thorough with debris vacuuming over the plate?

Better to spread out the flow over a larger area in a big tank you think, or have just a smaller plate to pre-filter the canister intake?

It all depends on what you want your filtration to do. If you didnt want to clean the undergravel filter you could use the canister to pre-filter and return the water back through the undergravel (using a reverse flow undergravel setup). You would have to clean your canister more frequently I would imagine.

In my case, I need to water change that tank anyway so its easy to gravel siphon as I do. I dont really want to clean the canister as well.

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